Spring has arrived! Thank goodness Mother Nature has finally put us on defrost, at least for a moment. Let’s lean in with a spirit of renewal and an anticipation of brighter days!
As we make April plans, I want to invite each of you, along with your guests, to attend the next TEMPO Madison leadership series event on April 22nd – How to Elevate and Be Elevated. We have a panel of C-suite women, along with our moderator, who will share how mentorship (advising) and sponsorship (advocating) have elevated their careers while helping others along the way. As we all know, we have not arrived where we are on talent alone. For many of us, it took that one person who genuinely believed in you and invested quality time and effort in the advancement and achievement of your career goals.
Regardless of where you stand on the organizational ladder or in running your own business, it is essential to have a strong support system beyond family and friends. For more women to achieve upward mobility and advance their career aspirations, mentoring matters and sponsorship is critical.
After several years in Madison, working in a predominately white, middle-aged (some much older) male environment, I finally landed a mentor. She offered guidance on my professional goals and connected me with influential leaders in the local community. Most importantly, she understood the challenges of being a Black female executive administrator in a male-dominated, top-ranked business school. Thanks in part to our relationship, I have thrived as an academic administrator, community leader, and volunteer. I am passionate about paying it forward – mentoring and sponsoring other women, building a roadmap, and being a voice for the advancement of women.
An equally important role is sponsorship. Sponsors are the individuals who already have a seat at the table, who serve as our representatives, agents, and advocates. It is not enough to have a mentor. Mentors are not always in the position to support you in securing a promotion or pay raise, but sponsors can make it happen. They are your personal agent who will speak on your behalf. If you are fortunate, your mentor and sponsor may even be one and the same person. If so, what a gift!
I hope you will join me at the leadership series to learn more about these essential career networks.
Leslie M. Petty
President, TEMPO Madison